Winner of The Man Booker Prize this year, Karunatilaka’s second novel takes place in Sri Lanka. Maali Almeida is a photojournalist, a gay man, and dead. His ghost is told that he must pass through seven moons before he can reach The Light. On his journey, we meet many characters, most either dead or corrupt, learn that he has taken photos that could lead to the downfall of some guilty officials, and come to understand how and why Maali was killed.
Kaunatilaka’s innovative novel is part historical fiction, part murder mystery and part fantasy. It describes Sri Lanka’s civil war vividly and violently. I’m usually put off by works that have ghosts in them, and in The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, there are ghosts galore.